Cryotherapy: A New Type of Seattle Freeze

By Andrew Hoge

April 16, 2019

Our style and society writer tried cryotherapy, one of the latest beauty trends to hit the Pacific Northwest, in the name of the beauty issue

Cryotherapy capsule with cold nitrogen vapors in cosmetology clinic. Cryo sauna for whole body cryotherapy treatment.
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Those who know me know that I’m a bit of a beauty and wellness junkie. What started five years ago as quest to improve lingering adolescent acne has turned into a full on obsession to find the most effective products and procedures. You name it, I’ve tried it.

And during the four months that I worked on the April Seattle magazine cover story on beauty (on newsstands now), I spritzed, patted and lathered on almost every local beauty product you see here and tested quite a few of the tech-forward treatments mentioned here. Perhaps the experience that stands out the most is my visit to Glacial Cryotherapy in Lake Forest Park, which still gives me chills, pun intended.

I had heard many rave reviews for cryotherapy, which involves standing in a tank at subzero temperatures for approximately three minutes; fans of the treatment include a couple of friends who are professional ballet dancers. They say it reduces muscle pain and promotes healing due to increased blood circulation. While exposing myself to freezing temperatures is not my first instinct I decided to take the plunge in the name of the beauty issue, the “gram” and because Glacial Cryotherapy owners Kathy and Nicole touted the amazing benefits.

THE BIG FREEZE: Andrew Hoge tries out a cryo chamber treatment at Glacial Cryotherapy

After an insightful tour of their spa, which includes a space for the Cryofacial, I changed into a robe, put on insulated socks and gloves and prepared to step into the cryochamber. Admittedly I was anxious,  but Kathy and Nicole stayed in the cryochamber room to regulate the temperature and keep me company. To my surprise, minus 270 degrees was not as uncomfortable as I expected it to be. It was cold, to be sure, but I learned that it’s the result of liquid nitrogen that offers a sort of dry cold; were moisture involved, it might have been more uncomfortable.

My three minute session was over in the blink of an eye and after I changed into my street clothes I felt refreshed and a bit more focused as the blood returned to my system. According to industry experts, the major benefits come with consistent sessions and I plan on returning to the chamber, just in time for Seattle’s summer season.